Hernandez wins big in 83rd District house primary
Incumbent Barbara Hernandez scored a huge victory over challenger Juan Thomas to win the Democratic nomination in the 83rd District house race Tuesday night.
She will face Republican Donald Walter in the November general election.
With 57 of 57 precincts reporting, Hernandez outpaced Thomas 5,151 to 1,983, according to unofficial results.
Hernandez, 27, already has established herself as a party favorite and force to be reckoned with in the district that covers the Aurora area. She was elected to the Kane County Board in 2016, served as chief of staff for then-state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia and was appointed to Chapa LaVia's seat when her boss was named director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs.
During her campaign, Hernandez said she shares her constituents' concerns with rising property taxes, and also wants to focus on women's issues -- including addressing domestic violence and ensuring abortion rights.
Thomas, an attorney and ordained minister from Aurora, formerly served on the West Aurora school board and as Aurora Township clerk. During his campaign, he said the state must address pensions, school funding and property taxes, but also needs independent-minded leadership to fix a "broken system."
Among his proposals were bans on legislators lobbying the General Assembly for five years once they leave office, and a ban on House and Senate staffers from lobbying the General Assembly for three years once they leave office.
-- Steve Zalusky